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“H” is for Heyward, DuBose (1885-1940)

“H” is for Heyward, DuBose (1885-1940). Author. Born in Charleston, Heyward established a successful insurance business that enabled him to give more of his time to his first love, poetry writing. In 1920 he was one of the three co-founders of the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Five years later he published Porgy, a novel about African American life in Charleston. Revolutionary for its time, the book changed literary depictions of Blacks in the United States. His later novels were unorthodox in terms of existing race relations. Heyward worked with George and Ira Gershwin on the innovative opera Porgy and Bess. The opera was a critical and financial failure. DuBose Heyward beat a hasty retreat from New York to Charleston and spent his remaining years fostering local play writing talent as the resident dramatist of the Dock Street Theatre.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.